Daily Bible Readings, Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 119:121-144

Prayer Point.  Sometimes life is difficult even when you do the right thing. What do ask for when you are in this place? Notice the requests that are made in verses 121-144 and make these your prayers. If you are not in the this place, think of someone you know who is and pray the requests on their behalf.

Luke 10:17-24

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Jesus’ seventy-two disciples return from their first mission flush with joy at their success. See yesterday’s reading (Luke 10:1-16) for details on their mission.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Jesus interprets the success of their mission (verses 18-19).
  • What Jesus calls them to rejoice over instead of their success (verse 20).
  • Why Jesus is so joyful as he prays to his Father (verses 21-22).
  • Why the disciples are blessed above kings and prophets.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Hebrews 7:1-17

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Genesis 14 tells the story of Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek, priest of God and king of the city of Salem, which was later renamed Jerusalem.  When Abraham’s nephew Lot was captured, Abraham led a raid to recover his relative and his possessions.  God granted Abraham success and in gratitude Abraham gave ten percent of the spoils to Melchizedek believing him to be God’s representative.  Some believe that Melchizedek may have been an early appearance of Christ himself. Jesus is declared to be a priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Pay close attention to …

  • How the writer of Hebrews proves that Jesus, as a priest in the order of Melchizedek,  is greater than all of Israel’s priests.  Pay close attention to who pays the tithe to whom.
  • What the Levitical priesthood is incapable of delivering, that Jesus, as a priest of the order of Melchizedek, can deliver.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Ezekiel 11:14-25

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Chapter 8 brings Ezekiel [while in the Spirit] into the temple to witness the idolatry being practiced there.  Chapter 9 tells of the judgment visited upon the idolaters in the temple.  The cleansing begins.

Chapter 10 should be one of the darkest days in Israel’s history: the Glory of the LORD departs from the temple.   1 Kings 8 gives us the description of what it was like when the LORD filled the temple with his glory.  That was one of the most memorable days in Jewish history.  The imagery Ezekiel was experiencing must have been profound and complete for he cries in verse 11:13: “Ah, Sovereign LORD!  Will you completely destroy the remnant of Israel?”  (NIV)

Pay close attention to …

  • Who and where the sanctuary is (v. 16 )*
  • The promise after all this (v. 17 )
  • The “undivided heart” and the “new spirit” (v. 19 )
  • What this “heart of flesh” leads to (v. 20 )

* The Israelites believed that the LORD had only one place to be worshipped.  Just after the ten tribes broke away from Judah, the king (Jeroboam) established two cities for worship in Israel: Dan, in the north and Bethel in the south.  His fear was that his people would go to Jerusalem to worship at the temple and not come back.  That reminds me of the “Iron Curtain” or the Berlin Wall both of which were to keep people in.  See 1 Kings 12:25-33 for more detail.

“‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘I can see that you are a prophet.  Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.'” (John 4:19-20 NIV)  This is the “Woman at the Well” with whom Jesus spoke.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

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